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Best fake pictures of the new Apple Tablet so far.

Posted by Ryan Filsinger on January 26th, 2010

TechCrunch recently put up an article that showed off some pictures of a "leaked" tablet from a designer named Dustin Curtis. Dustin timed his fakes pretty well, and will probably end up getting quite a few calls for work after this. These in my opinion (and many others) are possibly the best fakes to date. I would not be surprised if this is very close to the actual device itself. With the hype generators going strong leading up to tomorrow's announcement I'm simply amazed at how much information, speculation and intrigue are being produced around a device that technically does not even exist yet.

Some of you may be asking though, why is there so much hype around this device? For me, my interest levels went through the roof after watching some videos of what the device could be capable of. I believe quite a few of the big industry players in film, games, books, and music have all got early access to the device to create remarkable interactive experiences. Some prototypes, and design concepts have been shown.

Tomorrow we'll know for sure though, and it's possible that this thing could change the way we do everything.. all over again. If you have a few extra minutes, take the time and watch the videos I've posted below. You will not be disappointed.

Apple to have "Major" announcement of "New Creation" on January 27th

Posted by Ryan Filsinger on January 18th, 2010

Endgadget is reporting that Apple will have a "Major" announcement ready for the public of their "New Creation" on January 27th at 10am. Now this has been known/speculated for a while, but this is the first time Apple has admitted that a "New Creation" will be unveiled at this event.

Make sure you find a good live blogging stream somewhere as this is going to be huge if the heavily rumored iSlate is what is going to be announced. If this changes things the way people are saying, I believe then we have just seen the tip of the iceberg in terms of what the app store is. That means a lot more work for us here at 148apps, as things could one day be 1.48million apps!

We'll be following all the developments as it pertains to the app store, and how the device will use all the old games and apps. It's not guaranteed that this new device will have backwards compatibility but I believe that it will, due to the crucial nature of that ability would be for launch. Imagine you opening your new device on day one, and having access to 100,000+ applications already tested and working for it.

So far my guesses are this:

1) Price point of $1000
2) Unexpected design
3) Two Models: 32gb 10", 64gb 11"
4) Will run a modified version of iPhone OS4.
5) Typing will be on screen, and via foldout wireless bluetooth keyboard.
6) We'll have to learn new gestures, and change the way we interact with touch screens.

1000 Apps Pulled From App Store

Posted by Ryan Filsinger on December 9th, 2009

Wired Magazine is reporting that the company Molinker, best known for being essentially a copycat developer who at their peak had 1000 applications submitted and approved on the App Store have been recently been removed. It appears that this removal was mostly based on the developer gaming the review system by giving away free application codes in response for 5 star reviews. The most interesting thing of all is, is the one line in the article that discusses the fact that one of this company's apps showed up in the "Staff Favorites" list which until now I honestly thought was chosen by people who worked at Apple. This opens up a can of worms in terms of how those selections are actually made, and should be investigated more.

On one hand I'm glad they decided to remove the offending company and their spamware, but on the other hand it brings out some glaring issues in the setup of the App Store. Since the launch of the App Store, there have been quite a few complaints about the approval process, the amount of spam apps that get on, and the general needle in a haystack feel that some developers are gripping with. I would love to see Apple find a way to help quality apps find their way out of the grime and for there to be a leveling playing field for everyone, but I sadly think that that day is a ways away.

On one hand I commend Apple for taking action on what essentially is a 1% cut of all their applications on the store, on the other hand, when there are 100,000 apps in the App Store, the store is going to get gamed and it shouldn't be up to other developers to report on people. It should be interesting to see what kind of precedence this sets for future developers and people abusing the appstore system.

Mountain Sheep's Minigore to get content update.

Posted by Ryan Filsinger on December 2nd, 2009

Late this summer we saw a stylized little shooter by the name of Minigore race up the charts priced exactly right at $0.99. As many other people did at the time, I picked it up and enjoyed it quite a bit. Sure it lacked a few extra features that would have taken the game over the top (more weapons, a new map, some enemy variety). But, the formula worked, you just ran around and killed the monsters that attacked you in a survival mode style game type and had fun doing it.

The game is an excellent way to kill a few minutes while waiting for a friend in a coffee shop or on a bus ride. Exactly what I look for in my iPhone games. On purchase though, we were teased with new content, updates, and episode packs that were sure to excite and bring us back which didn't seem to come. I don't think I'm alone when I say that I got distracted by other games, and this one slowly lost its place on my device. Even with the Episode 2 update, it wasn't enough to bring me back. But ALAS! Mountain Sheep the Minigore developers have announced details on promised Episode 3. Roughly 5 months after the release we are going to see Minigore's first real sizable update which will include a Boss unit named Wormwolf, a Day/Night cycle, Grenade Launcher, upgradeable weapons and some new playable characters(one of them even being Santa).

I'm glad to hear the team is still supporting this little gem of a game. This content pack on the surface is definitely enough for me to reinstall, and even up my recommendation of the game to my friends. I love DLC content, especially when it's free! If you love stylized comedy survival horror, then make sure you don't miss this one, now with even more Christmas spirit!

Here is a complete list of the features from Mountain Sheep's blog post:

New features:

- Enviro-Bear as a playable guest star
- New playable characters: Jerry Gore, Evan Hsu, Xmas Gore, Sensei Evan, Kid Gore and Santa
- New boss unit Wormwolf who comes in several sizes
- Grenade launcher
- Upgradable weapons
- Day & night cycle
- Snowy forest level
- New voice acting by Egoraptor (Jerry Gore and Santa)
- New achievements
- New sound effects
- PlayHaven community features

WSOP: Hold'em Legend

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Ryan Filsinger on November 25th, 2009
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: PLENTIFUL POCKET POKER
WSOP is solid, provides what you'd expect, and has a few nice little touches that make the experience enjoyable.
Read The Full Review »

Canada to get 4th iPhone Nation Wide Carrier

Posted by Ryan Filsinger on November 25th, 2009

In a recent press statement (which I had trouble tracking down), Virgin announced that they will be offering the iPhone in the "coming months" to Canadians (all indications are that it will be in February 2010). Recently here in Canada (Ryan, the author, is from Canada - ed.) we saw the addition of two more iPhone carriers in Bell and Telus but both offered very little in terms of competitive plans against the previous carrier, Rogers. As a consumer I was really hoping this increased competition would see an improvement in the available plans, but it appears that they all have a pact to not even make an effort. All of them offer almost the exact same plans, rates, and contracts with extremely little variation.

In most countries iPhone purchasers have the ability to pick up the devices for $199 on 2 year contracts, but not here in Canada. All 3 carriers offer 3 year contracts only. It also rumoured that Virgin will be offering the same forced 3 year contracts on us consumers. Now, Virgin has been establishing itself as a budget carrier with free phones, cheap plans, and generally the place to go if you are a very light phone user. So how they come at the release of the iPhone on their network should be very interesting. I believe that they have a real chance to steal a significant market share if they offer up something unique and flexible with this famous device. I'd love to see Virgin take a risk in it's pricing structure and allow a la cart pricing plans, pay as you go data, and 2 year contracts. I'd even be willing to fork over an extra $100 at purchase to get one less year on my contract.

With this addition, we are one of the leading countries in terms of carrier choice for the iPhone, but sadly still behind on pricing and contract options. If Virgin misses this opportunity to steal a decent size of the market, I'll be sad, because I really want to get one, but no one has provided what I'm looking for.

Hook Champ

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Ryan Filsinger on November 5th, 2009
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: EXCELLENT RETRO PLATFORMING
I can't recommend this retro style platformer enough, especially at this price. It's the first game I've reviewed here that I think is a must buy. This game should definitely be in the top 100 games in the App Store.
Read The Full Review »

100,000 apps and growing pains.

Posted by Ryan Filsinger on October 30th, 2009

On November 28th 2008 Apple hit a landmark for their iPhone App Store. They reached 10,000 approved applications for their device. Less then a year later, Apple has hit another landmark in approving their 100,000th app. This number is mind boggling when you think about the amount of development man hours that have gone into it.

Recently I've read some other saddening numbers in that some developers are seeing piracy rates of upwards of 90% on their applications. I firmly believe that Apple's recent move to allow developers to sell in game purchases in their free apps is a direct response to the massive pirating we see going on. If developers, publishers, startups and the like are going to make money consistently on the device in a complete sea of pirates and the race to $0.99 they are going to do start thinking and doing things completely differently. A lot of people are starting to expect a lot of game for almost no money. The problem is very few companies can exist by merely selling their app for such a low price, but then you'll almost never get noticed if you price yourself higher. It is definitely a catch 22 for many devs. What I see happening in this space is that the devs who take the model of giving their game away for free and then convincing me to go farther by spending $0.99 or $1.99 will more likely succeed. The other approach is to lock people out of the game based on a timed events similar to how iMob does it. There may even be a 3rd or 4th solution to this problem that has yet to emerge.

This flood of apps will not stop, and some analysts are saying that we'll see 250,000 applications by this time next year and that number may even be low if we look at the growth pattern over the last year and half. Crazy as it sounds, I think this is just the tip of the iceberg that will be the app store. Everyone will be developing stuff for the iPhone. At some point, Apple will be changing it's slogan to "There are 100 apps for that" as extreme over saturation hits in all areas. Even Adobe is releasing a Flash game converter that allows you to make your Flash game into an app and with that every Flash game will get converted in no time.

SkySmash 1918

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Ryan Filsinger on October 28th, 2009
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: WELL DONE HOMAGE
A well polished top down shooter that is a perfect homage to the classic Capcom shooter 1942. Kids these days have it so easy getting unlimited gameplay from these classic gametypes for a mere dollar.
Read The Full Review »

Galcon Labs

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Ryan Filsinger on October 14th, 2009
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: FAMILIAR GAMEPLAY WITH A TWIST
Generally we see content updates like this for free in the app store, so some people might argue that this should have been rolled into vanilla Galcon. But, there is just enough new content here to warrant a second app. It's priced right at $0.99 and we
Read The Full Review »

Canada to get multiple iPhone carriers?

Posted by Ryan Filsinger on October 7th, 2009

Since the iPhone expanded into Canada, we have only had one option as a provider. That carrier has been Rogers (note: Fido also carries the iPhone, but they are owned by Rogers) and they have taken advantage of that market position and currently offer one of the worst contracts world wide of all the iPhone carriers.

Last fall, Canada also had a spectrum auction which allowed other companies to purchase access to the various remaining open wireless spectrum. The CRTC opened up the auction with the intention of leveling out the market and providing competition in the mobile space, which has traditionally been non existent in Canada compared to say the European markets. We have yet to see any of those new players really open up and act on their purchases yet. So those of us who wanted an iPhone, but don't really care for Rogers have been out of luck. Well, an announcement today made by Telus and Bell seem to have changed all of that.

In anticipation for the upcoming Olympics in Vancouver the two carriers have spent a year upgrading their spectrum to allow HSPA phones on their network. Previously they have only run CDMA, which the iPhone does not function on. With this upgrade, they can now offer the device as early as next month, and the news is circulating throughout the internet today.

When these two carriers do jump into the iPhone field, this can only mean good things for consumers who have held out in purchasing the device. This also means many more units moved, more developers making apps, etc. I really hope Telus and Bell take advantage of the situation and offer a blockbuster deal. (Hint: Give me the 3GS in a 2 year contract, $60/month with unlimited data and I'll be getting in line). Previously though these carriers have been somewhat disappointing with their offerings, but perhaps the iPhone will be the spark needed for some missing competition.

Just a word of warning to the two carriers. Don't screw this launch up, much like Rogers did. Get lots of product in, set a competitive contract and rate plan against the world carriers, and don't put fine print rules around the usage of data. The iPhone is changing the world and how we use smartphones. The market is glad to have you here, but please don't screw it up.

Fare City: First Shift

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Ryan Filsinger on September 30th, 2009
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: TAXI MAYHEM!
Are you looking for a highly polished, stylized Flight Control type game with a taxi twist? Then Fare City is for you.
Read The Full Review »

Castle Warriors

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Ryan Filsinger on September 29th, 2009
Our rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar :: A TAD SIMPLISTIC
Castle Warriors has a good foundation at it's core, but suffers from a few flaws which really withdraw from the overall experience.
Read The Full Review »